Amazon has opened its checkout-free Amazon Go convenience store to the public. The store, located in Seattle, uses ceiling mounted cameras and electronic sensors to track purchases, before charging the shopping to the customer's Amazon account.
Source: IGD Research
To enter the store, customers must scan their unique QR code accessible via the Amazon Go app. The customer's Amazon account is then associated with their physical presence in store, which is tracked via cameras and sensors on shelves, as well as a computer vision system. When an item is taken off of the shelf, the product is automatically added to their Amazon shopping cart. As all transactions take place online, customers are free to put items directly into their shopping bag. When they leave the store, their Amazon account is automatically charged, and an electronic receipt is sent to the app.
Whilst the need for human interaction is removed with Amazon Go technology, there are still members of staff in the store. There are chefs preparing fresh food, stockers who replenish inventory, and an ID checker in the alcohol section. There is also a staff member readily available to answer questions and offer assistance with using the app.
Just walk out technology
Amazon has called the technology 'Just Walk Out'. The technology speeds up the shopping experience by removing the need for queues. Dilip Kumar, Amazon Go vice president of technology, said that the premise of the store is "to be respectful of your time as a shopper".
Raising brand awareness
The Amazon Go store illustrates one of the company's values, a passion for innovation. The 1,800 square foot store mainly stocks food-to-go products and Amazon meal kits, along with some household items, reflecting items available in Amazon Pantry. The store also features a limited range of Whole Foods Market's products, reflecting Amazon's acquisition of the retailer. Amazon currently has no plans to introduce the technology into the Whole Foods Market stores, and it is unclear whether the online retailer is planning to open more Amazon Go stores.
Learn more about Amazon and the leading retail trends by signing up to our free newsletter here